Reward-dependent gain and bias of visual responses in primate superior colliculus

Neuron. 2003 Aug 14;39(4):693-700. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(03)00464-1.


Eye movements are often influenced by expectation of reward. Using a memory-guided saccade task with an asymmetric reward schedule, we show that visual responses of monkey SC neurons increase when the visual stimulus indicates an upcoming reward. The increase occurred in two distinct manners: (1) reactively, as an increase in the gain of the visual response when the stimulus indicated an upcoming reward; (2) proactively, as an increase in anticipatory activity when reward was expected in the neuron's response field. These effects were observed mostly in saccade-related SC neurons in the deeper layer which would receive inputs from the cortical eye fields and the basal ganglia. These results, together with recent findings, suggest that the gain modulation may be determined by the inputs from both the cortical eye fields and the basal ganglia, whereas the anticipatory bias may be derived mainly from the basal ganglia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology
  • Macaca
  • Male
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Reward
  • Saccades / physiology
  • Superior Colliculi / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*